Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Amyris as example of first-mover disadvantage?

Maxxwell A.R. of Motley Fool blogs writes about Amyris:

As Adam Lesser of Gigaom writes, Amyris serves as a great example of the “first-mover disadvantage” that is inherent in renewable technologies. Unfortunately, all of the companies listed above have different microbes producing different products in different technology platforms. So the last company to reach commercial scale will have little to learn from the mistakes of its peers, except perhaps humility. (...) Both companies [Amyris and KiOR] have a projected schedule of production. Amyris demonstrated that may be more of a liability than expected. One slip will result in pushing production projections further into the future and the market equivalent of a time-out. Looking at the numbers, I just would not feel comfortable investing in these companies, either.

IPBiz notes that in the pharma area, Lipitor was a great example of a non-first mover success in the area of statins.  Because of the divergence in technologies among the biofuels company, Amyris is not such a great example of "first mover disadvantage," because it is not clear "who" the first mover is in the absence of defining "which" technology.  The concept of "peers" is not well defined.  For example, what would Joule have to learn from the technology of Solazyme. related to the conversion of sugars?

Maxxwell adds:  Companies should be wary of making future predictions, such as becoming cash-flow positive in year 201X, because Mr. Market is about fed-up with the industry.


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